Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update on Ministry Prayer

I want to take the time to thank you all for praying and remembering our family as we consider this ministry decision ahead of us (please see the previous blog entry if you need background info). I had a great meeting with our Pastor on Sunday evening and want to pass on something he reminded me of: (let me prep it by saying sometimes you just cannot see the trees because of the forest) ............ he said that God is not the author of confusion. If we are tossing about so much on this and not sure of what we should do, can we really plunge in and say that God is leading us in this direction?

(pregnant pause is inserted here)

Yeah .... that's what I said as well.

So, while I have not come to an official decision and made any phone calls, I think it is pretty safe to say what direction we are leaning on this. We are still praying of course and wanting to be sure, but I think the decision has already been made for us. I feel if the Lord wanted us to be there it would be clear and without doubt, I just want to be sure that my own emotions are not blocking things so I'm going to take the rest of this week to pray and then decide.

Speaking of this week, I'm getting ready to head to Colorado Springs this afternoon for work. I am really hoping to have a decent travel day and definitely have dinner with an old friend in the ministry this week. I found out yesterday that the hotel I'm staying at is directly across the street from "Focus on the Family", so maybe I will have a chance to go visit and look around a little bit. Well, that's the latest from here. Praying your day goes well today and that you take the opportunity to tell someone that Jesus loves them, because the whole world needs to hear! God bless you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ministry prayers are needed

Well, I promised several folks I would give an update as to what is going on with me, and this seems to be the easiest way to update everyone at once. I'm sorry it has taken so long to write this, I have actually been working on it for a week now to find the right words.

During the last two weeks of February, I was invited to preach at County Line Baptist Church (which is about 3 miles from our house) and to be honest it was really good to preach God's word again. I confess to you that I went there solely to preach the Word and fellowship with other believers, but after the message last Sunday night the pulpit search committee asked me if they could meet with me and I agreed.

The meeting simply began with one of the deacons saying to me, "If our church was to call you as pastor would you be interested in serving?" Well, I was floored, honored, and suddenly very terrified about being a pastor again ... but I'll come back to that later.

We talked for a while about the church's vision and about what they feel God has called them to do, and then of the ladies on the committee said to me, "Our church has a desire to grow, to reach people for Jesus Christ, and we are willing to do whatever it takes and go any distance to reach people .......... we'll knock on doors, we'll send letters, we'll visit .......... we see God using this building as an outpost to reaching the committee and our city." I also discovered the church is debt free, has 3 deacons, and a core group of about 20 folks who are sold out to reaching the lost, and have a desire to ONLY see Christ lifted up. Wow. I was floored for the second time in one meeting. So, you are probably asking what's wrong with this church and why is TJ having problems with it? (Well, if you're not asking this I am ... hence the purpose of this entry.)

You see, we went through some struggles in the previous pastorate, and I guess we are terrified of entering these types of situations again. Now, I understand and have been around enough churches to realize that not every congregation is perfect and there are always challenges, especially in the area of getting folks out of the pew, but to think that this church wants to reach out is really an eye opening experience. I said to the committee that I believe the SOLE purpose of a church is "to connect people with Jesus Christ" and they emphatically agreed.

Additionally, the church is without youth and for that matter many young people in attendance, but the infrastructure to do so is in place. What I'm saying is they already have Sunday School teachers for each age group, and even dedicated nursery and youth workers, but without the people in attendance those gifts are not being used. This of course, is a major downfall for us since we have a 15 yr old daughter who desperately needs to be in a youth group with her peers, even though I'm sure she would love to continue going to the youth group she is in now; which if she did sadly would split up our family on Wednesdays and quite possibly most Sunday nights.

So now that I've said all of this and you've been patient enough to read it ... I like to ask for your prayers for any word that you receive from God on this. I'm scheduled to preach there again on Easter Sunday (Apr 4), and right now we are praying that the Lord would give us His peace and allow us to answer the church's call (either yes or no) before then and that we would only be in God's will. Would you join us in that prayer? Would you join us in praying that only God's Will would be done in this? Would you also pray specifically for County Line Baptist Church that the right man, God's man, would be called to lead them? I don't know if I am that man, but I know I can go to the One who has the answers and He promises to bring peace (reference Philippians 4:6-9). So, would you please join me?

Our family is praying and talking constantly, and we only want to be in the Lord's will. Thank you in advance and may God bless you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be holy ... Life application

1 Peter 1:16 says, "... for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Do you want to make a difference in your world?
Do you want to live a holy life?

Try these on for size:

1. Be faithful to your spouse.
2. Be the one at the office who refuses to cheat.
3. Be the neighbor who acts neighborly.
4. Be the employee who does the work and doesn't complain.
5. Pay your bills.
6. Do your part and enjoy life.
7. Don't speak one message and live another.

Remember, people are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say.

- Quote adapted from Max Lucado

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Food for Thought


A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village. A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long." they answered in unison.

"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life."

The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?"

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.

You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City , Los Angeles , or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?"

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years." replied the tourist.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting, " answered the tourist, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what we are doing now. So what's the point wasting twenty-five years?" asked the Mexicans.

And the moral of this story is?

Know where you're going in life .... you may already be there!!


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